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Vodafone Idea agrees to accept govt moratorium offer on spectrum fees

The DoT has given telecom operators time till October 29 to decide on the moratorium on spectrum payments and the AGR dues

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 21.10.21, 01:33 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Shutterstock

Vodafone Idea on Wednesday said its board has agreed to accept the government offer of a moratorium on the payment of spectrum fees for four years.

In a filing to the stock exchanges, the beleaguered telecom operator said it will give its response to the department of telecom’s (DoT) proposal on AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues and the conversion of accrued interest to equity within the deadline set by the DoT.


“We wish to inform you that the board of directors of the company has approved the exercise of the option of deferment of the company’s spectrum auction instalments for a period of four years (October 2021 to September 2025) in accordance with ...the notification dated 14 October 2021 issued by the department of telecommunications (DoT) to the company,” it said.

“The other options offered in the said notification by DoT will be considered by the board of directors of the company within the stipulated timeframe,” the company said in the regulatory filing.

The DoT has given the telecom operators time till October 29 to decide on the moratorium on spectrum payments and the AGR dues.

The operators must also inform the DoT on whether they want to convert their accrued interest into equity within 90 days of the issuance of the letter. The government has offered the option to defer payment of the spectrum auction instalments due up to four years, with immediate effect, excluding the instalments due for auction held in 2021.

These deferred amounts will be spread equally over the remaining instalments to be paid, without any increase in the existing time period specified for making the instalment payments.

Interest as stipulated in the relevant year of auction of spectrum will, however, be charged so that the Net Present Value (NPV) of the payable amount is protected.

Vodafone Idea shares rose 6.4 per cent to Rs 10.64 on the BSE following the board decision.

Vodafone owes almost Rs 23,000 crore in annual spectrum and AGR liabilities, which will now be spread over the next four years.

Subscribers quit

The latest data of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) showed Vodafone Idea losing 8.33 lakh subscribers in August against the loss of 14.30 subscribers in July.

Reliance Jio added 6.5 lakh subscribers against the addition of 65.19 lakh subscribers in July, while Bharti Airtel added 1.38 lakh subscribers against the addition of 19.43 lakh in July.

An increase in entry-level prepaid tariffs in July led to the fall in subscriber additions in August. The data showed that telecom companies lost more than a lakh subscribers (1.13 lakh) in August against the addition of 60 lakh subscribers in July.

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